Top institutions launch Engineering Extravaganza to enthuse youngsters about a career in manufacturi

03 March 2016

Four leading institutions have launched an 'Engineering Extravaganza' to enthuse youngsters about the prospects of a career in engineering.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), working together as Tomorrows Engineers, have joined forces to organise the Extravaganza as part of British Science Week.

This year's event will take place at the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing's Knowledge Transfer Centre and will involve around 120 pupils from schools across the Sheffield region and surrounding area.

The one day event is designed to give young people, aged 12 to 14, hands on experience of different types of engineering by getting them to work in teams to solve four engineering challenges, set by the institutions.

The ICE will run the skyscraper challenge using Lego and asking teams to build the tallest tower with as few bricks as possible.

Consideration will need to be given to the forces that act in large towers and how these remain stable in different environments. Teams will also need to think about how to recover their initial investment to construct the tower by considering the functional use of the building once completed.

The IET challenge looks at the technology behind "vacuum tube trains," capable of travelling at 4,000 miles an hour, as a lower cost alternative to air travel and will get the youngsters to engineering their own small scale vacuum tube train and show what forces will act on it.

The IoM3 challenge will explore how materials play a central role in our lives and have helped to change and improve the technology we rely on.

Meanwhile, the IMechE will be helping the teams of youngsters to build an air-powered model of the Bloodhound car, which is hoping to raise the World Land Speed Record to more than 1,000 miles an hour, and compete against each other to see which team's will go the furthest and fastest.

Rolls-Royce manufacturing engineering programme manager Ian Crowston, who is leading the team organising the event, said: "The Engineering Extravaganza is an interactive event, designed to inspire young teenagers and their teachers about STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - subjects.

"It gives them an opportunity to spend time with engineers, technologists and scientists. We hope that both the students and their teachers will find the event educational and rewarding and give them an introduction to the careers options available to STEM subject students."

The Extravaganza takes place on Tuesday March 15, at the same time as the AMRC Training Centre will be staging a series of events to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

These include an Insight Day for schools on Monday March 14 and Thursday 17, during which young people will be able to tour the Training Centre, see its facilities and talk to apprentices, with the second day targeted at students considering an apprenticeship as part of a Higher Education or Foundation Degree pathway into engineering.

Teachers' "Back to the Floor" day 

The Centre is staging one of its popular "Back to the Floor" days for teachers of STEM subjects and careers advisors during National Apprenticeship Week, giving them the chance to experience life as an apprentice.

The Centre is also organising an Open Day for anyone interested in an apprenticeship on Wednesday March 16 and an Employers' Breakfast on the Friday, which will give businesses a chance to learn about opportunities for taking on an apprentice.

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